toronto fire

Toronto fire crews battle massive blaze at York Memorial high school

Heavy smoke is billowing across the western half of Toronto this morning as firefighters battle the second major blaze in as many days at York Memorial Collegiate Institute.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says that crews were called to the high school near Eglinton and Keele at around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, less than 12 hours after a separate fire had been put out at the same address.

"The investigation into yesterday's fire is ongoing in collaboration with the Ontario Fire Marshal and Toronto Police," said Pegg just before 7 a.m. on Tuesday. "All indications are that this fire is separate and distinct from the first fire yesterday. That investigation will continue and expand."

More than 25 fire trucks and 100 firefighters are now working to contain what's become a five-alarm fire blaze at the school, which on Monday celebrated its 90th birthday.

Thick, migrating smoke has prompted the evacuation of homes and businesses along the south side of Eglinton from Trethewey to Bicknell and police are urging motorists to avoid the area.

No injuries have been reported.

Damage to the structure has been described as "substantial" with several ceilings having collapsed throughout. 

Flames can still be seen shooting out from the school.

Smoke can be seen rising from the site at 2690 Eglinton Ave. W. from many parts of the city.

The smell of smoke is similarly pervasive, with people as far away as Liberty Village waking up to the smell of "campfire" in their homes.

Traffic is being impacted heavily.

The Toronto District School Board is asking the school's students and staff to report to George Harvey CI "at the usual time today" on account of the fire.

Both Monday's fire and the ongoing blaze at York Memorial are still under investigation. Only the former has been declared "suspicious" by police thus far.

Lead photo by

Matthew Pegg


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